Canada abandons beef and wine with Australia
Australia and Canada have stalled a long-running wine trade dispute with restrictions that should be dropped on Down Under bottles.
Quebec was the latest province to take unfair measures, which included putting Australian wines in a “store-in-store” in supermarkets while local drinks were on regular shelves.
Under a settlement reached by the World Trade Arbitrator, the restrictions will be phased out, allowing Australian products to compete on a level playing field with Canadian declines.
Other restrictions included loopholes, additional taxes and mark-ups on imported wine.
Australia first challenged the measures at the World Trade Organization in 2018.
The restrictions have affected wine at the federal level and in the provinces of British Columbia, Ontario, Quebec and Nova Scotia.
Settlements were reached for all jurisdictions except Quebec between April 2019 and July of last year.
Canada is Australia’s fourth largest export market for wine valued at over $ 192 million.
The industry took a heavy blow earlier in the year when China – its largest export market – upheld punitive tariffs on the product for five years.
South Australia, which accounts for 70 percent of exports, has vowed to aggressively target markets in Canada, the United Kingdom and the United States to cushion lost sales in China.
Australia has not ruled out submitting China to the WTO in a process similar to that of challenging Canada.
Trade Minister Dan Tehan said the government will continue to work under a rules-based trading system to resolve disputes in a respectful manner.
“Our success demonstrates the strength of the WTO dispute settlement system and underscores why Australia is working to reform the organization to keep it relevant,” he said in a statement.